Burkina Faso: Fighting for survival against jihadists

Burkina Faso: Fighting for survival against jihadists

Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Islamist insurgency in Burkina Faso is relentless. Hence, the new military coup in this nation is intent on strengthening the security apparatus to counter the jihadist threat.

Captain Ibrahim Traore announced that Lt-Col Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba had failed to stem the tide against Islamists. Thus the new military coup leaders jointly announced, “Faced with the deteriorating situation, we tried several times to get Damiba to refocus the transition on the security question… Damiba’s actions gradually convinced us that his ambitions were diverting away from what we set out to do. We decided this day to remove Damiba.”

Kassoum Coulibaly, the Defence Minister of Burkina Faso, said, “Every citizen should be aware that this is essentially a war in which our common destiny is at stake, meaning the survival of our nation.” 

The new leaders hope to recruit 50,000 new members to the Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland (VDP). This force initially began to assist the security apparatus in late 2019.

Regional and international nations that fear the growing rise of Islamist forces throughout the Sahel region need to support Burkina Faso. Nations that support Burkina Faso need to listen to the military demands of this country – and provide military equipment to assist the national army and the VDP.

Voice of America reports, “Burkina Faso’s defense minister on Tuesday declared the country was fighting for “survival” in its seven-year-old battle with jihadists as he urged the public to throw themselves into the campaign.”

Modern Tokyo Times recently said, “The new leaders – similar to Damiba – face an uphill struggle to contain the crisis because of the regional dynamics of this part of Africa. Several regional nations are blighted by ongoing Islamist insurgencies, ethnic divisions, political tensions, poverty, internal refugees, and limited infrastructures to tackle the needs of the people.”

Regional convulsions since the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011 continue to rock the entire Sahel region – and the surrounding environs – because Islamists entered the vacuum.

Burkina Faso and other regional nations need support on multiple fronts. However, this assistance needs to be sincere and not a diktat from outside hegemons.

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